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many Languages every thing that perhaps has be'ea written on that Country. "Mr. Cambridgfz known Benevolence, and his Disposition to encourage every useful Undertaking, has made him willing to throw open this Magazine of Curiosity to whoever is inclined to compile a History, or elucidate the Transactions of an Empire, almost unknown even to it's Contemporaries.
R U S S I A
In the YEAR 1710*
TH E Country of Russia has formerly been so little frequented by E^i. Foreigners, and their Share in the Affairs of Europe so inconsiderable, that to form any just Notion thereof it may be of Use in the present Juncture, to give some general Account of the Czar's Dominions, Revenues, and Forces, which may serve as a Ground-work, to judge more properly of whatever may happen in the Course of this War.
The Empire of Muscovy is at present of a vast Extent, bounded on the North by the Ife-sea, arid the unknown Tracts near the Pole, on 'he East and South-East by China, Great Tartary, the Ujbecque Tartars, and Persia; on the South by Part of Turkey, Poland, and Lithuania, and on the ". * West West by the Baltick-sea, Sweden and Lapland: A ^ Territory, almost equal in Compass of Ground to the rest of Europe, but very short of several Kingdoms, in the Riches of the Country, and Number of the People: Most like the American Plantations on the Continent, the Banks of the several 'Rivers being tolerably inhabited, and Land enough tilled for the Necessity of Life and the Conveniency of their Trade, as is very obvious from the Frontiers of Lithuania to Mtsco; for the Ground is only cleared in Proportion to the Largeness of the Towns or Villages on the Road, and the rest Wood on all Sides. In the Southern Parts are very large unfrequented Plains of several hundred Miles, extremely fruitful in Grafs, and all Sorts of sweet Herbs and Flowers, but wanting in Wood and good Water, and exposed to the sudden. Inroads of the, Tartars, against which no Peace or Treaty is any Security. ■ '. ;> , ,r. . ■ > .n . f..,
. The Soil is different in Nature and Goodness according to the Climate: That about Mesea ^flfW* is sandy and not very fruitful, but sufficiently supplied by the Convenience of the River* in Summer, and Cheapness of fled Carriage in the Winter, which generally lasts there about six Months. ."' v '<
'The Inhabitants are chiefly those called Muscovites, ■ the rest swell the Bulk, hut add little to
WW?1 the Strength of the Country; the Laplanders and Samtiedes being toe heavy and dispirited;
th» the several Nations of Tartars too wild, and the Coffacks too full of Freedom and Privilege to be of any great Advantage* - ,
Ice Sea j their Stature is law, their Ei- • gure very disagreeable, their Apprehen- Samoisda. fion and Understanding scarce above that of Brutes, and their Religion, if any at all, little understood by those who frequent them. Their Food is generally raw Fish, ot whatever they kill or find dead, without Distinction; they are of Use to the Muscovites in their Seal-fishery about Nova Zmbla } and pay the Czar a small Tribute of Furs. -•*-
The Kingdoms of Siberia and Daury were first entered by some Ruffian Malefactors who 7artars f
Jilowitz, but on this Discovery received Daur3' trieir Pardons, and being seconded by some Soldiers made several Settlements on the nearest Rivers; which by Degrees have been extended to the Frontiers of China, the last Fortress of the Czar's Dominions called Nerczinfi, being built on the River Amur which falls into the South Sea; the original Inhahitants of these wide Countries were several Sorts of Tartars, who living in little Hordes or Companies under distinct Governments, like the Indian Nations in Amerioa, were easily subdued; near the Rujjian Plantations, they have learned to dwell in Houses, to till the Ground, and pay the Czar an Annual
fled from Justice in the Time of John Ba
Tributc Tribute of Furs, as Sables, Foxes and Ermines • The other Tartars, who continue to range about with their Tents, do not acknowledge the Czar's Sovereignty, and are often troublesome in little Parties, though not capable of making any great Impression.
Casaw and AJlracan were Tartarian Kingdoms, who once made the Muscovites tributary,
and" and several Times brought that GovernAfbacan. ment to the brink of Ruin; but were entirely subdued by "John Bastlowitz, the first in 1552, and the other in 1554 '- After which he built several Towns on the Wolga, strengthened them with good Garrisons, and sent Colonies of his own People to Ca/an and Astracan, who to this Day do not suffer any Tartarians to settle within the Walls.
The CzeremeJJes and Morduars possess a large Tract of Land between Nisen-Novogrod and Ca
„s san* on both Sides of the River Wtlgd; Mirduart. they live in Houses, follow Husbandry, and pay the Czar Taxes and Services as his other Subjects, but never furnish Recruits to the War.
The Bajkirs are a powerful Nation, extended from Ca/an to the Frontiers of Siberia ; they a"^"ru have some Villages, but maintain, their old Freedom, and rebelled in 1707, when the Czar's Officers would have loaded them with new Impositions, and forced several of them to be batpized; They were appeased by the Shew of Force, and Redress of their Grievances.